French onion rarebit soup

French onion rarebit soup

By Simon Wood

Simon Wood's French Onion Rarebit Soup

Put a twist on this classic soup with some of the best features of a Welsh rarebit. The soup is flavoured with stout to give it depth, while the traditional cheese-topped croûton is boosted by mustard and spring onion.

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 30g (1oz) butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 675g (11⁄2lb) onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp plain white flour
  • 1 litre (2 pints) beef stock
  • 500ml (16fl oz) stout
  • 115g (4oz) Gruyère or Emmental cheese, grated
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half
  • 4 slices of baguette, about 2cm (3⁄4in) thick, toasted


  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the onions and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Press a piece of wet greaseproof paper over the surface and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes, or until the onions are rich and dark golden brown. Take care that they do not stick and burn.
  2. Remove the paper, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are glazed. Sprinkle with the flour and continue to cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and stout and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and leave the soup to simmer for 50 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the rarebit topping, mix the cheese with the egg yolks, spring onion, and mustard powder. Preheat the grill on its highest setting. Divide the soup between 4 flameproof bowls and stir 1 tbsp brandy into each.
  4. Rub the garlic clove over the toast slices. Spread the cheese mixture onto the slices and place 1 slice in each bowl. Grill for 2–3 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve at once.

Recipe taken from Masterchef: The Classics with a Twist published by DK. Photo credit: David Loftus. 

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